The Ebola outbreak

ebola

The Ebola outbreak is currently in the news and even more so now that several cases have been detected in the USA.

What exactly is Ebola? Is there a cure to this deadly disease? How can countries work together to reduce the risk of the disease spreading?

Ebola – or Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) – is a really deadly virus: 50% to 90% of people who catch it die from it. But there are a few forms of the virus which have been identified by scientists and given the right medical care and treatment, you can recover. Ebola was first spotted in the African countries of Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976. In the space of five months in that year, 284 people in Sudan caught the virus. It killed 117 of them.

You can catch it through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person such as blood and saliva. It is not airborne like the flu so is more difficult to catch but is very infectious: so infected people have to be kept separate to reduce the risk of it spreading. Healthcare workers who have looked after sick patients have also been infected.

For the moment there is no known cure however a new experimental drug, ZMapp, has been used in the US on health workers and a UK nurse who caught the disease in Africa. They recovered from the virus.

The World Health Organization warns greater global efforts are needed to combat the Ebola virus, which is spreading ever faster in West Africa despite efforts to contain it. Barack Obama and EU leaders took part in a videoconference on Wednesday 15th October to discuss the growing Ebola crisis following warnings that the outbreak could grow to 10,000 new cases a week within two months. They discussed what further action can be taken to help stop the spread of the virus in west Africa and how passengers arriving from Africa can be screened to prevent the disease spreading further.

Here are a few videos that explain more about this outbreak.

What is Ebola? – in 60 seconds 

An interactive video : Ebola – the virus posing a deadly threat to millions

Documents, videos and articles on the BBC website

Progress towards a vaccine : video

Vocabulary exercises about vaccines

Ideas for a debate about compulsory vaccinations

Concernant ces publicités

Definition of Places and Forms of Power (mise à jour février 2014)

Il est souvent difficile de trouver des idées pour illustrer chaque notion. N’oubliez pas que certains sujets peuvent être utilisés pour illustrer 2 ou même 3 notions – prenons comme exemple l’histoire de Rosa Parks:

- (myths et héros) une figure emblematique de la lutte contre la ségrégation raciale aux États-Unis

http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/civilrights/terms.html

- (lieux et formes de pouvoir) les raisons de la lutte contre la ségrégation raciale aux Etats Unis

- (idée du progrès) – comparaison des conditions de vie des afro-américains pendant les années 60 avec les conditions aujourd’hui (un président noir).

Voici donc quelques idées de sujets pour illustrer la notion « Lieux et formes de pouvoir ».

Places and forms of power

« Places » could be important buildings or institutions that represent a certain form of power, for example Buckingham Palace – a symbol of the British monarchy, the White – a symbol of the American presidency.

A place can also be a country or a state –  for example the USA is a state which is powerful enough to influence events throughout the world (superpower) and China is a major economic power in today’s world.

What exactly is power?

It is the ability to control others, events, or resources; the ability to make things happen despite obstacles, resistance, or opposition. This of course leads to conflict between those who have power and those who don’t.

Resistance to power

There are many examples of resistance to power:

- the African-American civil rights movement (Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Junior, Malcom X….)

Videos to watch:

Biography of Rosa Parks

- Song « Sister Rosa » about Rosa Parks

- Presentation of the characters from the book and film « The Help » (la Couleur des Sentiments):

- trailer from the  film « The Butler »

- interesting page with lots of links about the film « The Butler« 

- the struggle for liberation in South Africa (Apartheid, Nelson Mandela)

- the Suffragettes’ fight for women’s right to vote

Video « Bad romance » : a parody music video paying homage to Alice Paul and the generations of brave women who joined together in the fight to pass the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote in 1920.

-Women’s rights movement in the US

 The ability to influence others

The power of the media

If we look at the power of the media for example we can see how much it can influence the public opinion. The mass media plays an important role in forming our personality, enriching our knowledge, providing us with information of any kind.
Mass media can have an effect on our personal identity: it can help us to feel that we are part of a group (social networks) but on the other hand it can contribute to a feeling of isolation.

Media can have a strong political influence or can shape the way we perceive certain groups of society – minority groups, pressure groups…mass media is powerful because it makes us believe what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour (reality TV).

However it can also have harmful impact on society:

- On-screen violence leading to actual violence (violent video games/films)

- Identity or financial fraud on the internet people to fraud, especially identity fraud.

- the dangers for children who are able to access Internet material inappropriate for their age.

- The Internet can facilitate an invasion of privacy – (chat rooms, social networks, bullying)

Economic and political power

- The European Union – past, present and future

- the « superpowers » ( states with a dominant position in the international system with the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests – e.g. USA)

- emerging countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China, are now playing an increasingly important role in the global economy, with this group of four powerful developing economies sometimes referred to as the BRIC countries)

The power of guns

- The debate on gun control in the USA

Finally an interesting quote to illustrate this notion:

quote-the-means-by-which-we-live-have-outdistanced-the-ends-for-which-we-live-our-scientific-power-has-martin-luther-king-jr-102519

Préparez votre épreuve de compréhension orale

Votre épreuve de compréhension orale approche? Préparez-vous dès maintenant en écoutant tous les jours des vidéos, podcasts et enregistrements en anglais.

Voici quelques idées de sites pour vous aider:

1. BBC English:

Essayez « 6 minute English« : des reportages courts sur des sujets variés. Vous pouvez vous abonner au podcast, télécharger l’enregistrement et le texte.

2. PodCaz Bac:

Le site des langues de l’académie de La Réunion propose une rubrique consacrée à l’entraînement de la com­pré­hension de l’oral pour le bac. Il propose des fichiers audio d’une durée de 1 minute 30 (format imposé par l’épreuve), classés par notion. Vous y trouverez des fichiers pour la série STI2D également.

3. La clé des Langues

La Clé des langues met à votre disposition une banque d’enregistrements audio et vidéo correspondant au format requis pour l’épreuve de compréhension de l’oral. Vous pouvez télécharger les fichiers audio ainsi que des ressources pour vous aider à la compréhension.

4. Medialingua

Medialingua du Crdp-Aquitaine propose des documents audio ou vidéo à télécharger sur des thèmes variés.

5. Audio Lingua

Audiolingua propose des enregistrements en plusieurs langues sur des thèmes variés – vous pouvez choisir le niveau (B2) et la durée (60-90 secondes)

6.CNN Student News

Sur ce site vous pouvez visualiser le reportage du jour et lire le texte si besoin. Un niveau assez élevé!

7. British Council

Regardez des vidéos sur les différents aspects de la vie en Grande Bretagne ici et aussi sur cette page où vous trouverez des vidéos sur des sujets très variés!

 

 

Nelson Mandela : one of the most inspiring figures of the 20th century

OBIT_NelsonMandela_1918_2013_131205_16x9_992

Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

 Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on 18 July 1918 and was given the name of Nelson by one of his teachers. His father Henry was a respected advisor to the Thembu royal family.

ANC involvement

Mandela was educated at the University of Fort Hare and later at the University of Witwatersrand, he qualified in law in 1942. He became increasingly involved with the African National Congress (ANC), a multi-racial nationalist movement trying to bring about political change in South Africa.

In 1948, the National Party came to power and began to implement a policy of ‘apartheid’, or forced segregation on the basis of race. The ANC carried out a campaign of passive resistance against apartheid laws.

In 1952, Mandela became one of the ANC’s deputy presidents. By the late 1950s, faced with increasing government discrimination, Mandela, his friend Oliver Tambo and others began to move the ANC in a more radical direction. In 1956, Mandela went on trial for treason. The court case lasted five years, and finally Mandela was acquitted.

In March 1960, 69 black anti-apartheid demonstrators were killed by police at Sharpeville. The government declared a state of emergency and banned the ANC. In response, the organisation abandoned its policy of non-violence and Mandela helped establish the ANC’s military wing ‘Umkhonto we Sizwe’ or ‘The Spear of the Nation’. He was appointed its commander-in-chief and travelled abroad to receive military training and to find support for the ANC. On his return he was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison. In 1963, Mandela and other ANC leaders were tried for plotting to overthrow the government by violence. The following year Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was held in Robben Island prison, off the coast of Cape Town, and later in Pollsmoor Prison on the mainland. During his years in prison he became an international symbol of resistance to apartheid.

In 1990, the South African government responded to internal and international pressure and released Mandela, at the same time lifting the ban against the ANC. In 1991 Mandela became the ANC’s leader.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize together with FW de Klerk, then president of South Africa, in 1993. The following year South Africa held its first multi-racial election and Mandela was elected its first black president.

In 1998, he was married for the third time to Graça Machel, the widow of the president of Mozambique. Mandela’s second wife, Winnie, whom he married in 1958 and divorced in 1996, remains a controversial anti-apartheid activist.

In 1997 he stepped down as ANC leader and in 1999 his presidency of South Africa came to an end.

In 2004, Mandela announced his retirement from public life, although his charitable work continued. On 29 August 2007, a permanent statue to him was unveiled in Parliament Square, London.

He died on 5 December 2013, aged 95.

To learn more about Nelson Mandela’s life you can visit these pages:

- Watch the video on the BBC Website: Obituary

- Watch the video on the Guardian newspaper website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/nelson-mandela/8286419/Nelson-Mandela-obituary-part-one-one-of-the-most-inspiring-figures-of-the-20th-century.html

- Learn about the timeline of Mandela’s life with videos : BBC News

- Learn some of Mandela’s popular quotes

- Watch the video on the History channel

- How would Mandela have used social media if it has existed? Watch the Video here – thank you to http://www.teachermanigat.com/ for the link!

To learn more about apartheid:

- You can visit the excellent Apartheid museum website

To improve your listening comprehension :

- Online exercises here

To improve your reading comprehension:

- Learn all about Mandela and apartheid here

Tips for your oral presentation!

Do you consider Nelson Mandela to be a modern-day hero? What has he achieved for black South Africans? How has their life become better today? Does this make him a hero?This topic can not only illustrate the notion of myths and heroes but also the idea of progress: after racial segregation during colonial times in South Africa, the struggle that led to the abolition of apartheid has brought about a great number of changes for the black population.Finally this topic could be the perfect illustration for the notion of places and forms of power:

Apartheid caused significant internal resistance and violence, and a long arms and trade embargo against South Africa. There were many uprisings and protests leading to  the imprisoning of anti-apartheid leaders. As unrest spread and became more effective and militarised, state organisations responded with repression and violence. Along with the sanctions placed on South Africa by the international community, this made it increasingly difficult for the government to maintain the regime. Apartheid reforms in the 1980s failed to stop the mounting opposition, and in 1990 President de Klerk began negotiations to end apartheid. There were multi-racial democratic elections in 1994 that were won by the African National Congress under Nelson Mandela.

Learn all about London – and maybe win a trip!

« London Story »

London is a fascinating place and the people that live and work there have many interesting stories to tell.

Here is the link to the competition:

http://www.visitlondon.com/story/competition

You can then click on the different stories told by Londoners, choose your 3 favourite videos and then submit your choices. You may win an all-expenses-paid trip to London.

If you don’t win, it’s an excellent way of learning about the different monuments and places to visit in London.

Do you want to learn about the making of Harry Potter films? Watch this video: http://www.visitlondon.com/story/profile/23035130-warner-bros-studio-tour-london-the-making-of-harry-potter

Do you want to learn about the different types of transport in London? Watch this video http://www.visitlondon.com/story/profile/33177689-transport-for-london

What about the Tate Modern Museum? Watch this video: http://www.visitlondon.com/story/profile/344410-tate-modern

And have you heard about Madame Tussauds? Watch this video about Rebecca who is an artist at Madame Tussauds and who talks about the history of the museum http://www.visitlondon.com/story/profile/284875-madame-tussauds-london

And for all football fans what about learning all about Wembley Stadium? http://www.visitlondon.com/story/profile/4114851-wembley-stadium-tour

It is an excellent way to learn all about London and the history of the different monuments!  And also excellent practice for the listening comprehension part of your exam!

Enjoy!!!